Mark Gold, Executive Director, Ocean Protection Council; Deputy Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy, California Natural Resources Agency
Mark Gold joined OPC in July of 2019. As Executive Director of OPC and the Deputy Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy for the California Natural Resources Agency, Mark serves as a key advisor to Governor and the Secretary of Natural Resources and directs policy, scientific research, and critical partnerships to increase protection of coastal and ocean resources in California. Prior to his appointment, he was the UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability where he led their Sustainable Los Angeles Grand Challenge effort. Prior to UCLA, Mark was the first hire at Heal the Bay, where he served as their President for 18 years. During that time, he worked on ocean and coastal legislation and policy, stormwater, watershed management, and marine conservation and coastal restoration issues, projects and programs. Over the course of his career, his research focused on beach water quality and health risks, as well as sustainable water resources management. Mark received his bachelor’s and master’s in Biology as well as his doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering, all from UCLA.
Michael H. Kelly, Executive Director, The Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs
Michael H. Kelly currently serves as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs, a non-profit bi-partisan organization that brings together leaders from business, labor, academia and nonprofits to advance initiatives that generate economic growth, create quality jobs and a skilled work-force, and improve the region’s overall quality of life.
Prior to working with the Los Angeles Coalition, Mr. Kelly has worked in a number of high-level positions, both in the private sector with The Boeing Company and with California Governor’s Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He currently serves as the chair of the FUSE Corps L.A. Advisory Committee, founding chair of the Philanthropic Foundation for California State University, Dominguez Hills, a partner at Saving The West and an advisory board member for WorkingNation.
Sandra Whitehouse, Ph.D., Senior Policy Advisor, Ocean Conservancy
Dr. Sandra Whitehouse is a consultant who is uses her marine science expertise to advise clients on ocean policies focused on how to advance ocean health and sustainably develop coastal and offshore projects. Her clients have included governments, companies and nonprofit organizations. Currently she serves as the Senior Policy Advisor to Ocean Conservancy and as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. She is on the board of The National Council for Science and the Environment. Dr. Whitehouse holds a B.S. from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island. https://www.oceancollectiv.co/
A working mom and lifelong Angeleno, Wendy attended LA public schools and graduated from UCLA. Wendy started her career in public service working for her mentor, former Mayor Tom Bradley, where for ten years she worked on a wide range of public policy issues including child care, senior care homelessness, housing, public health and education.
While in Mayor Bradley’s office, Wendy was a leader in the creation of LA’s BEST, a nationally recognized after school program that provides a safe and supervised environment for children after school, and helped found the city’s first childcare center.
Wendy’s commitment to affordable housing led her to Washington D.C., where she served in President Clinton’s administration as the Deputy Director of the Interagency Council on Homelessness and later as the Southern California Regional Director at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In 1997, Wendy transitioned into the private sector, working for five years in the film industry as an executive at DreamWorks SKG. She provided strategic guidance in their civic and philanthropic efforts in the Los Angeles Region.
In 2002, Wendy was elected to the Los Angeles City Council and quickly developed an impressive record of accomplishment by creating jobs, preserving open space and reducing traffic congestion.
In 2009, Wendy was elected City Controller, becoming only the second woman in LA’s history elected to citywide office. As Controller, she brought a laser focus to examining government finances ensuring our taxpayer dollars were spent efficiently and she brought greater transparency to government.
In 2013, Wendy was engaged by the Orange County Discovery Science Center to help open a new facility in the San Fernando Valley. She is providing strategic advice on Board development, fundraising and civic engagement for Discovery Cube L.A.
In addition, in 2016, Wendy was appointed as an Executive in Residence and Strategic Advisor at the California State University Northridge Nazarian College of Business and Economics.
She currently serves as Chair of the LAHSA Commission working on homeless issues and on the boards of L.A. Family Housing, Emerge, Everychild Foundation, East Valley YMCA, Oakwood School, Discovery Cube L.A. and on the L.A. Kings Business Advisory Board.
Wendy and her husband Dean are the proud parents of Thomas, who attends Walter Reed Middle School.